This last Saturday, a handful of printmaking students and I went to Pittsburgh to visit the Tech Shop, The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Mattress Factory, and Artists Image Resource. It was a great (and long) day filled with some really amazing art and a lot of fun!

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WVU Printmaking student Jordan Welsh was awarded 2nd Place in the annual College of Creative Arts “Faculty-Student Mentored Research Award” competition. Jordan won for his research into beetles, their habitats and relation to human habitats, and his visual representation of the information. Great job Jordan!

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West Virginia University (WVU) School of Art and Design students will be showing their work at the Pittsburgh gallery Artists Image Resource (AIR). Two exhibitions titled Old hat and Confluence will run from March 24 to April 19. There will be a closing reception on April 19 from 7-9 pm with free food and drink. The exhibition and closing reception is free and open to the public. Artists Image Resource is a non-profit gallery and fine art press.

Old hat features two WVU undergraduate printmaking students, Sam Boehm and Alex Martin. The show features their artwork made during a semester-long residency at AIR. The School of Art and Design printmaking program has been sending student interns to AIR since 2004. Students travel to Pittsburgh one day a week to work at the non-profit gallery and fine art press. Students get to work on current AIR projects and get to make their own artwork using AIR’s facilities. Both the internship and exhibition are unique aspects to the School of Art and Design printmaking program. The proximity to AIR, and the close relationship between AIR Director, Robert Beckman and myself has nurtured this distinctive program. It is unusual for undergraduate students from any art program to have the opportunity to show their work at an established gallery like AIR.

Confluence features artwork made by WVU School of Art and Design Graduate Students. This show will feature artwork made in various media like ceramics, printmaking, and sculpture. Master of Fine Art students Ryan Brislawn, Nate Ditzler, Megan Gainer, Violet Goode, Brett Herron, Kaitlyn Hunter, Sarah Olsen, Meghan Olson, Silas Spellman, and Xia Zhang will all be exhibiting their most recent work.

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On April 8th, the WVU Printmaking Program hosted visiting artist Tonja Torgerson. The day was filled with crits, an artist’s talk, and we topped it all off by looking at some of her prints. It was a really great day, she gave a great talk and gave my students some great advice. CAM00665

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On Saturday, March 29th, during the 2014 SGC International Conference, I was given the “Honorary Member of the Council” award. This award is given in appreciation of the work I have done on the SGCI Executive Board and when I was President from 2008-2010.

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I would like to give my most sincere thank you to the SGCI organization and thank you to current SGCI President Beth Grabowski for a very moving introduction. This award came as a complete surprise to me, and it is so meaningful to have someone acknowledge the time and effort you put towards something. Everything that was accomplished during my tenure as SGCI President was made possible because of the great people who helped and mentored me along the way. My time at SGCI was truly a group effort.

Below are magnet prints cut up from test prints for an event at the 2014 SGCI Conference in San Francisco. “Pint n’ Print” is an even organized by Michael Krueger and Amze Emmons. It is sort of like a live action print exchange:

“Pint n Print was developed to operate at a point of intersection between three great print traditions: the European mini-print, The Print Exchange, and hanging out at dive bars during print conferences. The organizers hope to create a temporary utopian zone where creative artists can engage in a meaningful conversation about the state of the fine art print, within the aesthetic structure of a mini-print exhibition/exchange inside of a historic San Francisco café & bar. Sweeties, a long established local establishment with a reputation for a welcoming quiet atmosphere is the perfect local counterpoint to the international conference discourse. The Mini-prints will be on display and also available as a gift to any viewers who purchase a meal or beverage during a set period of time. We offer this as a gesture toward solidarity with our local host and the larger SF community, and as means to put artwork from around the country into circulation within the print community through a simple exchange. We hope these tiny prints will leave this one night event sowing connections made over conversation, beer and a snack.” FROM THE SGCI WEBSITE

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Below is a new print I made for the “REVIVAL” Print Portfolio organized by Josh Dannin, Adam Leestma, and Sage Perrott. It is the text from page 23 in the comic, with a white layer overlay printed on gray paper. I wanted to find a new way of showing the correlation between the narrative and panel layout.

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“IRON MAN Vol.01 Issue 178 Page 23″

Silkscreen

10″x6.5″

I recently completed another version of the book. This version is still a visual deconstruction of each page of the original Iron Man comic. This time all the original imagery is removed, and only the frames and empty talk bubbles remain.  I hope this book helps to give the viewer a sense of how the layout of the frames coincides with the pacing of the story. The book is 6″x4″, the pages are digitally printed on newsprint to give the book a realistic comic feel.

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“IRON MAN Vol. 01 Issue 178 (version 02)”

6″x4″

Digital print on newsprint, double staple book

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On Thursday March 07, I gave a gallery talk at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia. Alongside curator Arif Kahn, and Marshall faculty collaborators Peter Massing and Hayson Harrison, I spoke about my current body of work and answered questions from the audience. It was a terrific night, I can’t thank Arif and the Clay Center enough for all their support in conjunction with this exhibition.

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The second half of my BIG XII Fellowship was carried out last week. The first half consisted of a two day visit from University of Kansas printmaking professor Michael Krueger. On Feb 24-25, it was my turn to visit the University of Kansas. Michael, Yoonmi Nam, Shawn Bitters and all the graduate and undergraduate students were great hosts! During my visit, I got to see the wonderful facilities, have critiques with the grads, give a mini-comics workshop, and give a lecture about my work. The entire visit was such a blast, and everyone was really engaged, those two days could not have gone better. Thank you so much to everyone at the U of Kansas Department of Visual Arts for being such wonderful hosts.

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